Are organic foods significantly different than conventional foods? A new study not only says that they are, but that the results are dramatic and immediate.
A team of researchers from the University of Washington, Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control tested the urine of children for two pesticides, chlorpyrifos and malathion, after consuming organic and conventional foods. The test spanned fifteen days.
On the first three and last seven days of the study, children were fed the conventional foods they normally ate. During the middle five days of the study, children were fed organic foods, including fruits, vegetables, juices and wheat- and corn-based processed items such as cereal and pasta.
The researchers discovered that residues of malathion and chlorpyrifos were detectable in the children’s urine when they consumed conventional foods. The pesticide levels decreased to non-detectable levels immediately after consuming organic foods. Pesticide levels returned to the higher concentrations when children resumed consumption of the conventional foods.
The study suggests that the greatest childhood exposure to pesticides comes from food consumption, rather than environmental exposure. Pesticide manufacturers state that there is no evidence that children are harmed by pesticide residues on food. However, previous research suggests that the residue may harm developing nervous systems.